William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Orientale - Poem by William Ernest Henley

She's an enchanting little Israelite,
A world of hidden dimples!--Dusky-eyed,
A starry-glancing daughter of the Bride,
With hair escaped from some Arabian Night,
Her lip is red, her cheek is golden-white,
Her nose a scimitar; and, set aside
The bamboo hat she cocks with so much pride,
Her dress a dream of daintiness and delight.
And when she passes with the dreadful boys
And romping girls, the cockneys loud and crude,
My thought, to the Minories tied yet moved to range
The Land o' the Sun, commingles with the noise
Of magian drums and scents of sandalwood
A touch Sidonian--modern--taking--strange!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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